January 11, 2012

The Next War on Washington's Agenda

by Paul Craig Roberts

Washington has deployed missiles directed at Iran in its oil emirate puppet states, Oman and the UAE, and little doubt in the other US puppet states in the Middle East. Washington has beefed up Saudi Arabia's jet fighter force. Most recently, Washington has deployed 9,000 US troops to Israel to participate in "war games" designed to test the US/Israeli air defense system. As Iran represents no threat unless attacked, Washington's war preparations signal Washington's intention to attack Iran.

Another signal that Washington has a new war on its agenda is the raised level of Washington's rhetoric and demonization of Iran. Judging by polls Washington's propaganda that Iran is threatening the US by developing a nuclear weapon has met with success. Half of the American public support a military attack on Iran in order to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capability. . . .

In my judgment, the US government's war preparations are driven by three factors. One is the neoconservative ideology, adopted by the US government, that calls for the US to use its superior military and economic position to achieve world hegemony. This goal appeals to American hubris and to the power and profit that it serves.

A second factor is Israel's desire to eliminate all support for the Palestinians and for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. Israel's goal is to seize all of Palestine and the water resources of southern Lebanon. Eliminating Iran removes all obstacles to Israel's expansion.

A third factor is to deter or slow China's rise as a military and economic power by controlling China's access to energy. It was China's oil investments in eastern Libya that led to the sudden move against Libya by the US and its NATO puppets, and it is China's oil investments elsewhere in Africa that resulted in the Bush regime's creation of the United States Africa Command, designed to counter China's economic influence with US military influence. . . .


"Wipe Out Israel? Or Palestine?," The Wisdom Fund, December 20, 2005

Gen. Wesley Clark, Commonwealth Club, October 3, 2007

John Pilger, "The New World War -- The Silence Is A Lie,", September 24, 2008

Mohamed ElBaradei, "The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times," Metropolitan Books (April 26, 2011)

Enver Masud, "Fact Check: IAEA Report on Iran's Nuclear Program," The Wisdom Fund, November 11, 2011

"America's Undeclared War on Iran Has Already Begun," The Wisdom Fund, December 7, 2011

George Galloway, December 9, 2011: "Iran hasn't invaded another country in 300 years."

[Despite President Barack Obama's assertion that he would open up avenues to talk to the Iranians, he has failed to do so, he has rejected Iranian initiatives to start a dialogue, and he is showing every sign of unwillingness to negotiate on any level. Congress has even moved to block any contact between American and Iranian diplomats. The sanctions that recently took effect against the Iranian banking system can be construed as an act of war, particularly as Iran has not provided any casus belli. Further sanctions that will restrict energy imports are impending and will bring the country's economy to a halt. . . .

The United States uses a neutron-type bomb against the main Iranian nuclear research center at Natanz, which both Washington and Israel had already bombed conventionally and destroyed. It vows to bomb again if Iran continues to resist. Iran is defiant and fires another wave of Silkworms at U.S. ships, hitting one. Russia and China place their nuclear forces on high alert. Pakistani militants assume control of the government, aided by radical elements in the army and the intelligence service. India launches a preemptive strike against the main Pakistani nuclear centers at Wah and Multan, where the country's arsenal is believed to be concentrated. Pakistan has some of its nukes moving around on trucks to avoid such a scenario, however, and is able to strike back by bombing New Delhi.

A minor engagement between American and Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf has ignited World War III.--Philip Giraldi, "What War With Iran Might Look Like," The Wisdom Fund, January 11, 2012]

[As with sanctions and covert military onslaughts on Iraq in the run up to 2003, the first point to underline is that the US is waging war on Iran. But well aware of the US public's aversion to yet another war in the Middle East, the onslaught is an undeclared one.

The analogy here is the run up to Pearl Harbor. Let me quote from a useful timeline. On October 7, 1940, a US Navy IQ analyst Arthur McCollum wrote an 8 point memo on how to force Japan into war with US. Beginning the next day FDR began to put them into effect and all 8 were eventually accomplished.--Alexander Cockburn, "War on Iran: It's Not A Matter of 'If',", January 13, 2012

Lord Stirling, "NATO Drills For Nuclear Attack On Iran and Syria,", January 17, 2012

Ellen Barry and Michael Schwartz, "Russian Warns That Western Support for Arab Revolts Could Cause a 'Big War',", January 18, 2012

[We find ourselves in a situation in which neither side wants to force the other into extreme steps and neither side is in a position to enter into broader accommodations. And that's what makes the situation dangerous.--George Friedman, "Red lines in the Strait of Hormuz,", January 19, 2012]

[Leave aside, for the moment, the new sanctions on Iran's central bank that will go into effect months from now, ignore Iranian threats to close the Strait of Hormuz (especially unlikely given that it's the main way Iran gets its own oil to market), and perhaps one key reason the crisis in the Persian Gulf is mounting involves this move to torpedo the petrodollar as the all-purpose currency of exchange. . . .

In this context, it's worth remembering that in September 2000 Saddam Hussein abandoned the petrodollar as the currency of payment for Iraq's oil, and moved to the euro. In March 2003, Iraq was invaded and the inevitable regime change occurred. Libya's Muammar Gaddafi proposed a gold dinar both as Africa's common currency and as the currency of payment for his country's energy resources. Another intervention and another regime change followed.--Pepe Escobar, "The myth of an 'isolated' Iran,", January 19, 2012]

[ . . . the House of Saud sells its oil only in US dollars - thus the pre-eminence of the petrodollar - and in exchange benefits from massive, unconditional US military and political support. Moreover the Saudis prevent the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) - after all they're the world's largest oil producer - to price and sell oil in a basket of currencies. These rivers of petrodollars then flow into US equities and Treasury bonds. . . .

So on one side we have Washington, NATO, Israel and the GCC. Not exactly an "international community", as the spin goes. And on the other side, we have Iran, Syria, a fed-up-with-Washington Pakistan, Russia, China, and scores of countries linked to the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). . . .

It's China's position in relation to the GCC that is a source of endless fascination.--Pepe Escobar, "The US-GCC fatal attraction,", January 19, 2012]

John Pilger, "The World War on Democracy,", January 19, 2012

[What we do know is that "Bibi" Netanyahu is desperate to have the United States launch air and missile strikes to stop Tehran from becoming the world's ninth nuclear power. And he is echoed not only by U.S. neocons, but GOP candidates save Ron Paul.--Patrick J. Buchanan, "Who Wants War With Iran?,", January 20, 2012]

Dan Kovalik, "Seven Truths Inconvenient to U.S. Foreign Policy,", January 20, 2012

[At no time has the U.S. based its foreign policies on facts - as opposed to its conceptions reliant on sheer wishes, interests, or pretensions--Gabriel Kolko, "The CIA's Cassandras: Paid to be Ignored,", January 20, 2012]

Paul Craig Roberts, "Drowning in Hypocrisy,", January 25, 2012

Robert Wright, "Do Israeli Leaders Really Think Iran Is an Existential Threat?,", January 26, 2012

Richard Silverstein, "An alternative to war,", January 27, 2012

Robert Fisk, "An attack on Tehran would be madness. So don't rule it out,", February 4, 2012

Gideon Levy, "Israelis should be afraid of their leaders, not Iran,", February 6, 2012

[The Netanyahu government and its echo chamber in U.S. politics and media, the neoconservatives, members of Congress, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum.--Patrick J. Buchanan, "Who Wants War With Iran?,", February 7, 2012]

[Few ask the sensible question: why would Iran risk nuclear vaporization by Israel and or the US just to launch a small number of its inaccurate missiles at Israel? US and Israeli early warning satellites would spot any Iranian missiles at launch and bring down a nuclear holocaust on the Islamic Republic.--Eric Margolis, "Politicians Want War With Iran,", February 8, 2012]

["The stupidest thing I have ever heard." - Meir Dagan, former head of Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, on attacking Iran's nuclear facilities.--Steve Chapman, "False Fears About a Nuclear Iran,", February 13, 2012]

John Mueller, "Iran: false nuclear fears cloud the west's judgment," Guardian, February 16, 2012

Sharmine Narwani, "How Iran Changed The World,", February 17, 2012

"Iran vs Israel: Who Should India ally with,", February 17, 2012 -- One of India's top diplomats speaks out on the U.S., Iran, Israel, Palestine, and the NPT. Will U.S. leaders and news media ever speak so clearly and forcefully?

[The debate over whether Israel should attack Iran rests on three basic questions. First, if Iran's leaders got the bomb, would they use it or give it to people who might? Second, would a strike substantially retard Iran's nuclear program? Third, if Israel attacks, what will Iran do in response?--Peter Beinart, "Experts Say Iran Attack Is Irrational, Yet Hawks Are Winning the Debate,", February 21, 2012]

Hans Blix, "The road to hell: As the drums beat for war with Iran, the UN's former weapons inspector warns that military intervention would be a disaster. Our best chance of peace lies in persuading the entire Middle East to go nuclear-free,", February 22, 2012

James Risen and Mark Massetti, "U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb,", February 24, 2012

[U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 (1991) . . . explicitly commits signers to establishing a WMDFZ in the Middle East.--Noam Chomsky, "What Are Iran's Intentions,", March 2, 2012]

[We may never be able to establish with certainty what happened in Delhi, Bangkok, and Tbilisi earlier this month, but the evidence that has come to light thus far doesn't support the widely accepted notion that Iran and Hezbollah were behind it. That evidence is consistent, however, with a clever Israeli "false flag" car bombing operation that would not injure the passenger but would serve its broader strategic interests: dividing India from Iran and pushing US public opinion further towards support for war against Iran.--Gareth Porter, "Who Was Behind the Delhi Bombing?,", March 3, 2012]

[The commander in chief of the armed forces is Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Who sets nuclear policy? Ali Khamenei. In Iran, the "president" is more like a vice president (think Joe Biden) than a real executive.--Juan Cole, "Khamenei Takes Control, Forbids Nuclear Bomb," Informed Comment, March 4, 2012]

[Article II of the Constitution requires the president to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed," and Article VI says that treaties are part of the "supreme law of the land." Since the Senate overwhelmingly ratified the United Nations Charter as a treaty in 1945, the president is constitutionally required to abide by Article 51 of the charter.--Bruce Ackerman, "The legal case against attacking Iran: A preemptive strike against Iran would violate both U.S. and international law,", March 5, 2012]

VIDEO: "The Spymaster: Meir Dagan on Iran's threat," 60 Minutes, March 11, 2012

Stephen M. Walt, "Top ten media failures in the Iran war debate,", March 11, 2012

[Pillar also questions why the argument that any Israeli/U.S. attack on Iran to set back its nuclear program uses the "best case" scenario that Tehran's response would be limited, while only a "worst case" analysis is made of Iran getting the bomb. If the armed attack by Israel or the United States is analyzed under "worst case" scenarios, Pillar says, "we would be hearing about a regional conflagration involving multiple U.S. allies, sucking in U.S. forces beyond the initial assault."--Walter Pincus, "How bad would Iran be with the bomb?,", March 19, 2012]

Gareth Porter, "Details of Talks with IAEA Belie Charge Iran Refused Cooperation,", March 21, 2012

Julian Borger, "Nuclear watchdog chief accused of pro-western bias over Iran," Guardian, March 22, 2012

[The treaty permits signers to produce enriched uranium to fuel commercial and research reactors, store the radioactive fuel and reprocess spent fuel as long as all nuclear facilities are subject to I.A.E.A. oversight. . . .

Of the countries now operating or constructing nuclear energy or research reactors under the treaty, more than 40 also have the capabilities to build nuclear weapons--Bernard Aronson, "Can Brazil Stop Iran,", April 3, 2012]

[The Times report repeated a familiar allegation, attributed to unnamed "analysts", that the fatwa is merely a conscious deception justified by the traditional Shi'ite legal principle called taqiyyah. But a quick fact check would have shown that taqiyyah is specifically limited to hiding one's Shi'ite faith to avoid being killed or otherwise seriously harmed if it were acknowledged.

. . . even Mehdi Khalaji of the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy acknowledged in an essay published last September that Khamenei's oral statements are considered fatwas and are binding on believers.--Gareth Porter, "Report distorts Iran's nuclear fatwa,", April 20, 2012]

[Trump thinks he can get the Arabs and Israel to destroy the power of Iran--Robert Fisk, "When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East,", May 24, 2017]

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